Project-Based Learning is a research-backed approach to teaching that emphasizes student agency, the investigation of engaging real-world problems, and the development of 21st-century skills.
A Customized Approach To Project-Based Learning Built Around You!
Project-Based Learning (PBL) must contain certain elements to be considered "high-quality" but it can also encompass other important aspects of your school or district's vision. Educational technology? Career readiness? Visual art integration? SEL development? Whatever makes your school special or is important in helping students succeed is important to us. Our workshops are never "one size fits all" and we work 1-on-1 with all our partner schools to ensure satisfaction.
Not "One More Thing" For Teachers!
As former and current classroom teachers, we see all workshop participants as our peers, treating them with the professional dignity they deserve and leveraging their knowledge and participation throughout our workshop. Teachers will leave with a fully-formed project they can use in their classroom, not just a pile of notes and readings. We are very proud of our facilitator's 97% satisfaction rate among workshop participants!
Professional & Collaborative Workshops... At The Right Price.
Our goal is to partner with you to help build your internal capacity, not to force you into needlessly-lengthly contracts. We keep overhead as low as possible and work with schools to make the best use of their time and their money because as educators, we understand that there is never enough of either. We never charge for the time we dedicate to developing your school's PBL plan and have a sliding scale based on your school. These are just a few of the reasons why we are able to offer professional development well below what all other training organizations charge.
All of our workshops are also available online. Reach out to schedule an informal call today!
Community-Focused Project-Based Learning - The Basics
Our core workshop is designed for schools and districts looking to launch project-based learning in the right way. The workshop explores the basic elements of high-quality PBL by helping teachers learn by doing through a constructivist approach. Participants will design projects that meet required standards by leveraging their community and its resources while keeping learning engaging, rigorous, and real. Design, assessment, facilitation, connecting with outside experts, and lot of great resources for PBL teaching will all be included in this foundational workshop.
This workshop can be customized to the resources and needs of your school and is designed for teachers and administrators to attend together.
Deep Dives - Advanced Training and Coaching Support
Our foundational workshop is essential for gaining a basic understanding of PBL and launching your first project, but what happens when you encounter the unexpected? How do you build capacity within your own school for PBL? What if you are ready to up your PBL game to the next level and progress beyond the basics? Our Deep Dive sessions are customizable coaching sections that we build to meet the goals and needs of your teachers and student. Whether you choose our in-person or online models, we offer both half-day and full-day options that emphasize flexibility.
Park Based Learning - The Power of Place
Our approach to PBL emphasizes leveraging places that put learning into an authentic, tangible context. This workshop helps teachers understand the role experiential learning plays in high-quality PBL, helps them connect to places and organizations to standards, and introduces them to facilitation techniques that capture student interest by connecting learning to real problems and challenges in their own communities. This one-day workshop is great as a primer for our foundation's workshop as well as a stand-alone experience that helps classroom teachers get more comfortable with place-based learning.
Our District Partners
Endorsement and Testimonials
"James was very energetic and informative. He was knowledgable and passionate about sharing his knowledge with our group."
"This was one of the best PD's I have ever attended. It was interactive and gave us many opportunities to brainstorm and collaborate. I appreciated how the entire workshop was structured. James was also very attentive to our questions and supporting us when needed.
White Bear Lake, MN
James was amazing and always kept us engaged and focused. He made this experience that I wasn't looking forward to a very positive experience.
Los Angeles, CA
James was wonderful. I have been teaching for several years now, and have been to over a dozen PD's and this one was by far the most engaging and helpful I have ever been to. James changed my perspective on PD and I look forward to keeping in contact with him to improve my understanding and practice creating projects for my class!
Fantastic professional training! James was engaging and enthusiastic. One of the few times I have felt excited to leave a PD to go use what I learned in my room.
I really enjoyed the format and modeling of strategies throughout the workshop. This was great. I think this should be required for more teachers. James, you're great!
James was excellent and informative. One of the most helpful and knowledgable facilitators I've ever experienced in a training.
Los Angeles, CA
I could not have had a better instructor! James Fester was positive and humorous, a wonderful balance of engaging and entertaining. He is the best instructor I have ever experienced for professional development. The fact that he was able to win over this workshop roster is no small feat, this school can be a very difficult sell. But he did it! At the end of the workshop, I noticed how much more open the teachers were willing to be, not just with James, but with each other as well as we learned about PBL. Thank you James!
James was very effective in facilitating the training. He brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the process and made it all appear very manageable.
I have attended a number of trainings and this is the first time I actually feel like I learned something of value AND have the tools to implement it. Thanks for keeping us engaged!
San Diego, CA
Fantastic! One of the most productive PD sessions I have had in a long while. He made coming in during our summer break very worthwhile!